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Rochester, MN (KROC AM News) - Rochester Public Schools is considering a wide range of choices as it looks for ways to deal with what it says is a projected dark hole in its checkbook.

And RPS wants to hear from the public before final decisions on what to do about the problem are made.

According to a press release, RPS is facing a projected operating budget deficit of up to $23 million for the 2022-2023 school year. Executive Director of Finance John Carlson gave an overview of proposed reductions totaling $7-million to the school board on January 25.

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RPS has sent surveys to staff, students, families and community members and will accept responses through Feb. 3. The results will be reviewed by the board at its Feb 8 meeting before budget decisions are made.

RPS says there are a number of reasons for the financial problems it is facing - and it is considering a number of options to deal with them. Among them: accounting shifts which could include the use of federal Covid funds and staff reductions.

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Some options that will be studied further include:

  • Change setpoints for heating and cooling
  • Close a small elementary school and consolidate with another school.
  • Eliminate some athletic sports
  • Further reduce or eliminate instructional coaching
  • Reduce administrative positions
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A summary of those reductions, along with a video explaining the process and the proposed budget reductions options are all available at rochesterschools.org/budget.

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